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Senate passes first government funding package

"Unlike the funding measures we’ve seen pushed through the House, these are serious and reasonable, bipartisan bills that can actually be signed into law," Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray said.

Published: November 1, 2023 6:35pm

The Senate on Wednesday approved the first government funding bill to set the budgets for key federal agencies in 2024, setting up a likely standoff with House Republicans who have pushed for steep spending cuts.

The upper chamber bill allocated funds to the Departments of Transportation, Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and the Food and Drug Administration. The measure passed 82-15, The Hill reported. The plan includes $120 billion for the VA and another $100 billion for the DOT, HUD, and other agencies.

"Unlike the funding measures we’ve seen pushed through the House, these are serious and reasonable, bipartisan bills that can actually be signed into law," Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., said after the vote. "They are the product of months of hard work, careful negotiation, thoughtful input from members on both sides of the aisle."

In the House, Republicans have brought forward bills to fund some of the same Departments, albeit with steep budget cuts. The GOP plans would remove $7 billion from the DOT and $1.2 billion from HUD. Those proposals have prompted the White House to issue veto threats.

Congress has until Nov. 17 to fund the government or face a shutdown, though House Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated he will seek to pass a stopgap funding package to give Congress more time to approve a 2024 budget.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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